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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Nightclub Inflation

Dear fabric

I note your £4 increase in door prices for members.

£14 entry rather than the normal person entry of £19 is nice, but £10 entry made me feel special.

I now no longer feel special.

Time to spread my clubbing wings for a little while.

But don’t worry, I will be back before long – just maybe not every month this year.

Have fun without me.

***

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Loving The Sunshine

I am so glad that I got out in the sunshine a bit this weekend - yes I know it is still a bit chilly in the air, and if you follow my weather blog you will be fully aware that I am not exactly expecting a glorious March.  I keep saying cold and snow and March.  I am not convinced anyone believes me.

Still, I am wrong sometimes in my weather predictions, I don't mind being wrong as it is stupidly difficult to get it right a reasonable amount of the time.  I am just trying to increase my understanding.  Hopefully in 20 years or so I will have a good understanding of the whole of the northern hemisphere and will be able to advise well in advance the likelihood of major natural weather-related disasters to try to minimise the impact that the growing world human population will have on its surroundings.

Though ideally someone with the resources will do it before me.

Until then I shall merrily plod along my way, working, continuing my creativity and of course my love for music.

I was humbled to meet a DJ called Jim at the weekend, who apparently owns 40,000 records.  With 50 years of DJing behind him.  I struggled to take it all in as I thought about the passion that I had for music which is just incomparable.

I thought music was my life.

And then I met Jim.  Totally over-awed.

Anyway, I had a walk in the sunshine today and took some beautiful photos.



I guess not everyone will be able to appreciate the beauty, but what is going on here is fantastic.

The transformation of the train station in Reading is very long overdue and very necessary.  Construction and engineering are wonderful, I greatly admire those that not only design it, but do it, and the team-work and organisation that has to go into such projects.

And finally, they have removed those shockingly ugly unused houses near the station!

The Malthouse would make a perfect kind of house-music town-centre pub with a large outdoor area.  I know it is a bit out of the way at the moment but once the station is complete, and potentially station hill too, then this will be a prime piece of pub real estate and it should have a house music beat to it please!  We need to keep the young creative types in Reading, we cannot lose them all to London.

Sadly I missed Ricardo Villalobos at fabric last night.  I didn't go.  I didn't have a dancing partner, and I didn't really want to spend that amount of money and then have to queue up for ages by myself, etc (though I spent shitloads in Reading anyway).  And I have work on Monday morning and I am focused on making sure I pass my probation period as I am fully aware that I have only just restarted my career.

Though reading the forums today, there was no queue at 8am, so I could have gone without worry.

And apparently it was a bit special.  Bugger.

So now I need to find somewhere I can go see him asap.  Even if it involves a plane ticket.  I don't care.

I feel like I have done so much...and I have.  I have celebrated a good friend's birthday, had some long overdue catch ups with very good friends, been out in the sunshine, walking around, watched politics on TV at 6am in the morning having an argument with my screen - "no to socialism, Hannspree XM". No. No. No.

I'm going on a bit aren't I?

I think I shall end it here.  I had a great weekend, I hope you did too.

Hoping for a productive week, with the minimum of distractions and then more celebrations this coming weekend...

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

So What Am I Giving Up For Lent?

Those of you that know me, will know that I don't tend to take religious dictats too seriously like lent (though I didn't smoke crack during daylight hours during Ramadan), however for the last couple of years, I have given something up.

In 2011, I gave up "ent".  That meant that I could not use words like "bent" or "silent" in my vocabulary.
In 2010, I gave up paper clips.  It was easier than you may think.

So the quest was on today for something to give up:

Magpies?  I always salute the first magpie I see each day.  I cannot feasibly give this up as it may give me bad luck for 40 days.
Sausage rolls?  No, I cannot be giving up the only thing that is edible in Tesco Express for those hangovers where walking to town/cooking is impossible.
Gravy?  The whole point of lent to me is not to give up something I depend on.  Gravy is life.

But on the way home I finally had a stroke of genius, and updated my Facebook status as thus:

I've finally worked out what to give up for lent; only the observant among you will be able to work it out, I will blog about it later...shock horror -)

Nobody seemed to get it.

I told you what I was going to give up for lent.

And then I said only the observant would get it.

And then I missed something out 3 characters from the end of said status...






Anyone get it yet???






Yes, I am giving up semi-colons for lent.

I think that is quite suitable.

Wish me luck.  It's going to be tricky.

***

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Monday, February 20, 2012

2 Years Of Blogging & My Prize Is...

I should really have written this nearly a month ago as I started blogging at the end of January 2010 but I was so disappointed not to have been nominated for a bloggie that I almost quit blogging.

I have 6 blogs, yes 6 of the buggers, and not one nomination.

I don't care about winning (yeah right) - I just want to be nominated.

Anyway, all is not lost as I have just made it to 50,000 page views.

Quite a feat I think, however many of these views, probably about half of them, come from being the number one search for "Cheryl Cole upskirt" on Google, and I am not sure that is what I came into blogging to do.

So much so that I am half tempted to delete said post, as it feels such a distortion of the figures - advice would be appreciated.  Do I?  Don't I?  This week it has so far had 2,188 views.

Most of my posts get about 25-30 views (which is still a very healthy amount in my opinion - any more than 10 then I am happy).

Anyway, happy 2nd birthday to my blog.  Long may it continue, at least until someone takes legal action against me.

***

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Letter From The Mayor Of London

There is no elected mayor in Reading, and no nightclub in Reading either to write to him about.

So I wrote to my beloved Boris about the yet-again pending possible closure of Ministry Of Sound (yes you probably thought it was saved last year but not so).  It isn't exactly as if Ministry Of Sound is my favourite nightclub in the world but it is an important part of clubbing history and Boris seems to want to favour a housing development over a nightclub.

I felt I had to write to point out the folly of his possible decision - as I want Boris as mayor instead of that fuck-wit socialist, Ken Livingston.

***************************


Dear Boris

I like you very much and I am a strong Conservative supporter.

Overturning this turned down planning application and therefore threatening the closure of Ministry Of Sound is a guaranteed way to ensure that a huge chunk of the younger part of the electorate will campaign against you for the mayoral election.

Not only that, but the decision has been made democratically not to build this development.

Nightclubs are a very important part of the attractiveness of a city for both residents and tourists, especially for the younger generations.

Ministry Of Sound is an iconic nightclub.

I do not currently live in London but if I did then this is the one decision that would stop me from voting for you - even if it means risking a socialist being back in power, and I have just about as much contempt for them as Margaret Thatcher did.

Please make the right decision, I do not want to see Mr Livingston back in charge of London.

Kind regards
James Winfield

***************************

And the response, sadly not from him personally but I can live with that, he is a busy man, and I am sure me and Boris will have chance to talk at future Conservative Party Conferences in a decade or two once (if) I hang up my dancing shoes.

***************************


Thank you for your correspondence about the above planning application.

Following a notice from Southwark Council on 18 November 2011, that it is minded to refuse planning permission for the redevelopment proposals at Eileen House, 80-94 Newington Causeway, the Mayor notified the Council on 1 December 2011 that he would act as the local planning authority for the purposes of determining this planning application (under article 7 of the above Order and the powers conferred by Section 2A of the 1990 Act).

A representation hearing is due to be held in the public chamber at City Hall on 12 March 2012, starting at 18.00, for the Mayor to consider this application in more detail and to determine whether or not planning permission should be granted. The hearing is open to the public and you are free to attend. The chamber has a capacity of 250 people and is fully accessible. Details of access to City Hall can be found here: http://www.london.gov.uk/city-hall/visitor-information/location-map.

Your correspondence has been placed on file and your comments will be reported to the Mayor when he considers the planning application.

Yours sincerely

xxxxxx xxxxxx
Public Liaison Unit
Greater London Authority

***************************

Not exactly a hopeful response but silence isn't a James thing.

***

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

From Disco To Disco

From Disco To Disco.



So I braved another night out in Reading, this time on the basis of the name.

It is in the relaxed Up The Junction bar in Cemetery Junction. Quite a basic looking place but this is dance music and elegant looking places tend to be full of tossers. And it is free entry and very reasonably priced drinks too.  What more do you require?

Oh yeah, music.

Musically I am delighted to announce that it was most definitely up my street...about time! A mix of disco, new and old, house, garage and electro (nothing too painful) with some proper classics thrown in, and a nice friendly crowd.

I still have a sore throat from the overused smoke machine but a night out without some kind of damage to oneself isn't a proper night out!

Finally I have found a monthly night out in Reading playing my kind of music that I will be endeavouring to go to every month...the second Saturday of each month.

It gets the James Winfield seal of approval.  How rarely do you hear that?!

Take note fellow potential promoters in Reading. It can be done! Do it...and book me ;-)  Or I will have to live up to my threat to organise my own night and DJ for the whole 8 hours by myself.

But much more importantly fellow dancers - get down to future events!  I won't be at the one in March due to my mam's 60th birthday, which is a reasonable excuse, but I will be endeavouring to go to every one I can.

***

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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

To All My Lovely Readers Of The Female Variety...

Especially to those who didn't receive any cards, flowers or any kind of paid-for loving this morning...














Stop moaning!









Because I have made the effort to send you a photo of a whole rack of cards.


Don't say nobody loves you ;-)

xxx

***

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Happy Valentine's To...

I just blogged...










...to say...









...I love...





...





Me!

Happy Valentine's Day, James x

(well, someone has to!)

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

So, How The Hell Did I Regain Employment?

So I have finally found a company crazy enough to employ the boy from Hull with fluffy ears muffs and patterned cardigans who buys bunches of daffodils and has cravings for 15-minute minimal techno grooves in dingy London nightclubs until 10am on Sunday mornings surrounded by beautiful Spanish chicks...oh the dreams...

Though to be fair to myself I was actually the model employee for the first two of my four years, I was so well thought of and over-achieved in every single target set for me.  I had the best manager ever and a great team to work with.  But then the great manager disappeared and I gained an incompetent team-leader with every screw loose which meant that I became too frustrated in trying to be able to do my job with no management support and I lost the enthusiasm and never quite got it back to the original extent when the manager issue was, ahem, "fixed".  Eventually.  After that experience, although I was still a good employee, I was no longer a star, and no longer wanted to be.  I had lost faith in company, and department.

But I tried to get it back by going for a role elsewhere within the company.  Some may say that changing jobs from a busy job with good people to the miserable existence of having no work for 12 months (ok an exaggeration but not hugely) and not such a friendly environment was not the brightest idea and boy did I regret it from the day I started the job but it was always planned to be a stepping stone onto something greater - unemployment!

I never wanted to be unemployed, I always took pride in always working, even when I was at university.  But I was desperate to escape and I knew how good the redundancy package at Verizon was and so during 2011 my aim was to be made redundant.  Perhaps an odd choice given the economic difficulties and increasing unemployment but I always believed in myself and seriously, you don't know how miserable that little team was and the lack of work.  I had a good view of the traffic though.

Verizon was the best ever time of my career - and the worst.  I hope this new job and company is normal!  I have a good feeling...and all three people I have met so far appear to be good people.  A good sign.

I loved unemployment.  I thought I might struggle psychologically but I loved it.  So much so that it probably deserves a blog post all on its own.  But there is something fundamental missing - that sense of satisfaction and achievement.  Oh, and redundancy money runs out eventually.  I will do a separate blog post about it and what I have learnt but this is supposed to be all about how I got a job.

First thing first, I needed a plan.

So I took a month off to drink, go out all the time, spend loads of money, partying, etc - and then I went to Ibiza for a week.  And then I bought some CDJs (DJ decks for those not in the know).

And then I wrote a plan of how to get a job:

1. Uploading my CV to every single job site I could find.  Probably not the most productive part and one friend in particular was insistent that I was wasting my time...but I believe that may have got me the interview for my new job...and other previous interviews, so definitely not a waste of time.
2. Recruitment agencies.  Usually a waste of time.  I was selective about which ones I sent my CV to - only Robert Half would I say are the only agency that seemed like they were putting an effort in on my behalf - the young lady, Hayley, that looked after me I can thoroughly recommend.  Most other agencies wasted my time.  But sadly, many companies use them.
3. Searching the job boards of as many companies in Reading and the surrounding area that I thought would be good to work for.  It didn't get me anywhere except one interview this time - but it did get me the job at Verizon back in 2007.
4. Applying for as many jobs as possible.  Reed was the best website but I didn't stick there.  I also saved searches and got daily e-mails to my inbox, and also used Google Reader and RSS feeds to get newly posted jobs instantly to my Google Reader.  This gives an advantage of being one of the first people to apply for a position.
5. Don't just look for a job and then sit around for the rest of the time.  Perhaps one needs to develop new skills to fit into the job market because it constantly changes - so must the jobseeker.  I took to learning web design which probably didn't massively contribute to me getting the new job but it shows willing.  I probably haven't got the job because I learnt how to mix house music.
6. Do not stay in bed all day.  Do a 9-5 kind of day (11-7 works!!) and keep busy.  Find things to do.
7. NEVER, EVER, GIVE UP!  Never lose faith.  Never lose your confidence.  Always believe in yourself.  If I have discovered one thing in life especially in more recent years, it is that if you want something enough, and you put the effort in and stay positive - you can achieve whatever you want.

Next stop - superstar DJ.

I had quite the spring in my step this afternoon, despite the inevitable hangover from last night's extended celebrations.  I had an unexpected mixture of emotions yesterday - when I got the offer, I wasn't surprised, I was just overcome with relief initially.  I was about to get onto my job hunting shenanigans again with a little reluctance and the call came through.  So then I wanted to celebrate but it being 1230 in the afternoon on a Monday, I was a little reluctant to open the Champagne and drink alone.  I prefer rose wine anyway.  So I was confused and settled for a celebratory sausage roll (OK I had two).  And then as the well done's rolled in - it sunk on me that I had achieved my number one goal for 2012 and what I really wanted.

I have achieved it!  I am increasingly overjoyed and excited.  A new challenge, new company, new job, new start, new people to impress.

I am so looking forward to it.

Ask me again tomorrow when the trains to Bracknell have all been cancelled and I arrive an hour late at work ;-)

Monday, February 06, 2012

Message From The King To His Grateful Subjects

Today, as I mark what normally feels on a Monday as 60 years as your King, I am writing to thank you for the wonderful support and encouragement that you have given to me and my dancing feet over these years and to tell you how deeply moved we have been to receive so many wicked house music beats about the diamond jubilee.

In this year of specialness depending on drought conditions, as I dedicate myself anew to your service, I hope that we will all be reminded of the power of togetherness on the dancefloor and the convening strength of clubbing families, 1-hour friendships and good neighbourliness when we leave venues, examples of which I have been fortunate to see throughout my reign as King and which my clubbing family and I look forward to seeing in many strange, obscure forms as we travel throughout the nightclubs and festivals of the UK and the wider Commonwealth (Ibiza and Berlin are part of the Commonwealth are they not, my dears?).

I hope also that this jubilee year will be a time to give thanks for the great advances that have been made since the Paradise Garage era, especially Funktion One soundsystems, and to look forward to the future without clear heads every single weekend and overly warm hearts as we join together in our celebrations.

I send my sincere good wishes to you all and look forward to getting trashed on a dancefloor soon, dear subjects.

Roll on the 900 horse pageant.

***

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Friday, February 03, 2012

Ahh Much Better!

Ahh, that interview went well - I probably shouldn't say that as I thought that the interview the other day went badly but yet I got invited back for the second interview.  To be fair, I don't think the interview the other day went that badly thinking about it again - just more of a case that I could have done better and didn't quite live up to my own expectations.

Fingers crossed that one of the two I am going for come off - both are different - and both I have a good feeling about - and both (I wish I could think of a different word, grrr) are jobs and companies that I feel I would fit in well with.  I've not had that feeling about a job I have interviewed for since the one last year that I thought I would get - but I didn't get it so I won't get my hopes up.

Either way, I performed well and that is what matters - one cannot always expect the desired result but as long as I executed the process well and improved and learnt from before - that is what matters.

Apart from that, the job market is dry at the moment, so little around over the last week or so - sure I have applied for jobs but not anything that particularly caught my eye.  Apart from the Nuclear Technician job, of course, though I doubt I will get an interview for that as I have don't have enough experience.

At least I won't get told that I have too much experience for the Nuclear Technician role.  That drives me nuts - sorry you cannot have the role you want as we are going to employ someone less experienced than you.  I am seriously considering re-writing my CV to make me look like an inexperienced stupid uneducated plum.

Because apart from watching The Simpsons, I don't know much about nuclear energy.  And I don't even watch The Simpsons any more.  Family Guy totally ruined it for me.  My sense of humour has been warped way too far.

Anyway it is the weekend, and no rest for the wick-head...

Photo of me drinking candle wax from the burnt candle wick - no rest for the wick-head - funny?  No?

No, perhaps not.

Anyway, another weekend another birthday to celebrate - and for the second weekend in a row it is not my birthday that I am celebrating either.  And at the Oakford.

I will be hogging the celebrations again soon though when I get a new job.  It will happen.  I ain't giving up yet, no way hoezay.

Especially as I now have had to resort to Imperial vodka as it is £3 cheaper than Smirnoff as a pre-bar drink.  It ain't a pretty situation.  I might even have to try those 39p energy drinks rather than Red Bull at this rate.  Poor me.

ps If any potential employers are reading this, I do not drink candle wax - it was just a pose for the cameras.